Monday, 18 February 2019

Under The Influence: Buddy Holly

John Lennon

I only saw [Buddy Holly] on the London Palladium [TV show] … He was great. It was the first time I saw a Fender guitar being played. While the singer sang! (Also the 'secret' of the drumming on Peggy Sue was revealed - live).

The name BEATLES was directly inspired by CRICKETS. I think the greatest effect was on the songwriting (especially mine and Paul's). We [performed] practically everything he put out, what he did with three chords made a songwriter out of me. He was the first guy I ever saw with a capo, he made it OK to wear glasses. I was Buddy Holly.

John Lennon answering a Sept 1974 questionnaire by Jim Dawson The Elvis Forum. I've edit some of Lennon's punctuation for clarity and my own sanity!

Lennon quoted/paraphrased Holly's song (written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant) in Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence: “The sun is up, the sky is blue/It's beautiful and so are you”
Raining In My Heart: “The sun is out, the sky is blue/There's not a cloud to spoil the view”

George Harrison

One of the greatest people for me was Buddy Holly, because first of all he sang, wrote his own tunes and was a guitar player, and he was very good. Buddy Holly was the first time I heard A to F#m. Fantastic—he was opening up new worlds there. And then A to F, A, D, E, F and F#m. He was sensational. I no longer had the fear of changing from A to F.

Quoted in Mark Lewisohn: The Beatles - All These Years: Volume One: Tune In (p.150)

Paul McCartney

Buddy Holly/The Crickets songs covered by The Beatles

Words of Love - Beatles for Sale
Crying, Waiting, Hoping - Live at the BBC
That'll Be the Day - Anthology 1

More Under The Influence posts
Further Reading: Aaron Krerowicz: Influence of Buddy Holly on The Beatles

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  1. Paul:”I still like Buddy’s vocal style. And his writing. One of the main things about The Beatles is that we started out writing our own material. People these days take it for granted that you do, but nobody used to then. John I started to write because of Buddy Holly. It was like, ‘Wow! He writes and is a musician."

    Buddy Holly songs played live:
    “Baby I Don’t Care (You’re So Square)”, 1960-61
    “Crying, Waiting, Hoping”, 1960-62
    “Everyday”, 1957-62
    “It’s So Easy”, 1958-62
    “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues”, 1961-62
    “Maybe Baby”, 1958-61
    “Midnight Shift”, 1960-62
    “Peggy Sue”, 1957-62
    “Raining in My Heart”, 1959-62
    “Reminiscing”, 1962-63
    “That’ll Be the Day”, 1957-60
    “Think it Over”, 1958-62
    “Words of Love”, 1958-62


    1. Great comment Rob! I nearly included this McCartney quote as well but decided to go with the video instead.